Francesca Orsini; Neelam Srivastava; Laetitia Zecchini

Published On


Page Range

pp. 1-30

Print Length

29 pages


Much has been written on Cold War literature, though until recently mainly from within the national literary frameworks of primarily the USA, Soviet Russia, and China. But was the ‘rest’ of the literary world of Asia, Africa, and Latin America merely a battlefield for rival ideologies, falling under either American or Soviet influence? This book shows that such a perspective is not only acutely Eurocentric, it also does not do justice to the vitality of literary activism in the decolonizing world, and to the multiple ways by which Third World print cultures broke free from Cold War antagonisms, and from imperial superpowers. Decolonizing movements and Cold War propaganda produced mountains of printed materials—from illustrated news bulletins to cultural and literary magazines with limited and wide distribution, from book series to a wealth of translations. If magazines, meetings, festivals and translations were the pillars of Cold War culture, they all happened through or found their way into print: even meetings and festivals produced reports, dispatches, travelogues, and memoirs. Political solidarities encouraged other print forms as well: the manifesto and declaration, the testimony, the ‘letter from’, the poem, or the book review—often short, ‘portable’ forms that suited periodicals, rather than long forms like the novel. The Introduction discusses the keywords of the book--Cold War Print Cultures, Ideology, Form, and Third World—and the main print genres that the essays of this book discuss.


Neelam Srivastava


Laetitia Zecchini